Over the past months, I haven't been shy about expressing my appreciation for the Pixel 5's physical dimensions. After years of carrying larger and larger phones, which culminated with the Pixel 4 XL, it felt great to go back to a smaller device that just fits in my hands and my tiny female pants' pockets, and where I don't have to stretch my thumb like Mrs. Incredible to reach the opposite top corner. However, for a brief moment, it looked like we were starting to dig the grave to bury the idea of smaller phones, but there's a new wind blowing and it breathed new life into the category.
HTC took the wraps off the previously leaked One Mini 2 today (stylized as One mini 2), revealing a device that is slightly smaller than its older sibling and substantially more out of shape. With only a Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM, it won't move around pixels nearly as quickly as the device it takes inspiration from. At least with its 4.5-inch 720p display, it won't need to crank out as many, though it's still a stretch to think of a phone this size as small.
Yet like anyone with an inferiority complex, the One Mini 2 compensates however it can.
Following in the footsteps of Samsung, HTC, and Sony, LG has announced a "mini" version of their G2 flagship, and they're showing the phone off here in Barcelona. The G2 Mini uses a smaller screen than the 5.2-inch G2, but it's also got considerably weaker hardware.
At 4.7 inches, there's nothing really "Mini" about this device, but you'll definitely notice the lower resolution on the LCD (960x540). The hardware inside is also less than inspiring, with just 1GB of RAM serving the 1.4Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 400. Around back you'll find an 8 megapixel camera hanging out above LG's now-standard rear power and volume controls.
LG teased the G2 Mini a week ago, announcing that more information would come on February 24th at Mobile World Congress. Well, the company has gotten ahead of itself, pre-announcing the device and confirming a few specs. The "small" version of LG's flagship, unfortunately, won't match its power, screen quality, or camera. The G2 Mini will ship with either a Snapdragon 400 or Nvidia Tegra 4i chip, a 4-7-inch 540x960 display, an 8MP camera, a 2440mAh battery, and just 8GB of internal memory (alleviated somewhat by a microSD card slot).
On the positive side, the G2 Mini will come with Android 4.4.
This afternoon, Motorola's Punit Soni shared a post on Google+ to follow up on the company's earlier "more to share soon..." post. Soni's post pointed users toward Motorola Mobility's online upgrade checking interface, which tells users whether or not their Motorola device will be receiving any planned updates.
The tool now confirms that Android 4.4 KitKat will be coming to the Moto X along with the DROID Mini, Ultra, and Maxx.
Of course, the site mentions nothing about a timeline, but does have the option to sign up for email alerts for when the updates do become available.
More than a few Android users are lamenting the fact that high-end phones seem to be approaching the size of small billboards. For all you hoping for a true superphone that you can actually hold in one hand, Sony appears to have heard you. XperiaBlog is showing off what appears to be a catalog for Japanese Carrier NTT DoCoMo with a listing for the 4.3-inch Xperia Z1 f, which may indeed be the rumored Xperia Z1 Mini.
What's more surprising is that this is not a low-cost derivative of the larger flagship device, as Samsung and HTC have made with the Mini models for the Galaxy S4 and One, respectively.
We have less than half a day left before the big Verizon triple-threat reveal of the new 2013 DROID family in New York City and San Francisco. The DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX should be worthy follow-ups to last year's DROID RAZR M, DROID RAZR HD, and DROID RAZR MAXX HD. In this post, I'm not going to talk about processor specs, RAM, or internal storage. Instead, I wanted to provide reliable information about these phones' batteries, along with the confirmations of wireless charging support built right into them. As a bonus, NFC and Wi-Fi details are also presented.
Innovation is great. You know what it does? It solves problems. Not problems like 'What is beauty?' because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. Innovation solves practical problems. For instance, "How am I going to stop this big mean 5" 1080p display from tearing my battery and hand a structurally superfluous new behind?" The answer, according to HTC? Use a mini phone.
Let's give HTC at least one paragraph of fairness: the secondary mini-phone doesn't sound like the worst idea once you hear what it can do. It can take Bluetooth calls, pair via NFC, display notifications, act as a remote when your phone is plugged into your TV, and even help find your phone if, for some reason, you lose the big one but still have the little one in your pocket.
We were expecting this, but today Samsung took the wraps off of the Galaxy S III Mini, though, as Cameron pointed out yesterday, this isn't the same beast of a phone in a tinier display. Packing an unnamed dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, an 800x480 Super AMOLED display, and a 5MP rear shooter, this device is designed to fit in a mid-range slot on carriers' lineups.
Here's a full spec list:
4" WVGA Super AMOLED Display
1GHz dual-core processor
5MP rear shooter
8 or 16GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
HSPA 14.4/5.76 900/1900/2100 and EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
Samsung hasn't shared any details on pricing or availability yet.
A post on the Sony Xperia Product Blog this morning said that the update will be coming to the arc, arc S, neo, neo V, mini, pro, active, and ray "starting from this week". Depending on the country that you live in, you may have to wait a little longer for the update, as it will have to be approved by local carriers before it's rolled out.